A summer of resistance is the overarching theme to protest the Trump and Pence Administration in Hawai'i. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka attended a rally earlier this month and covered both sides of the story.
World Can’t Wait Hawai’i organized the Festival of Resistance July 8th bringing together nearly 30 organizations to protest the Trump-Pence Administration. Women’s March O’ahu Organizing Committee member, Robyn Squire, says she was never an activist until now.
“You need to fight for your rights every day because you have the right one day and it can be taken away the next day. And we gotta stay out there and be inclusive, being respectful, being tolerant, being compassionate.”
American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Director, Kit Grant, says every Presidency has its faults but the Trump-Pence administration is pushing the limits.
“The Obama Administration was terrible on immigration but we are seeing now more focused attacks on core fundamental American values guaranteed by the Constitution, things like free speech, the right to assemble. And we’re very deeply concerned by those.”
Mariarisa Mucum is not as concerned about Trump-Pence but is finding her way by getting involved in the Aikea Movement. She’s a junior at Waipahu High School.
“I joined Justice Club through my school and I’m here because my parents are part of the working class and personally, for me, issues I care about is affordable housing and I’m Marshallese so I’m trying to fight for social justice for the Micronesians.”
Liz Rees is an organizer for World Can’t Wait Hawai’i. She is passionate about women’s rights, civil liberties, the environment and is anti-war and anti-militarization. She says some portrayals of the liberal left are erroneous.
“There’s been a lot of stuff in the media lately about the so-called angry left and the hate mongers against Trump. But the left is angry, as we should be. When you look at what’s happening right now, I believe it’s a move toward Fascism with the Trump-Pence agenda. If you’re not angry about that, there’s something very wrong.”
But, Hawai’i Republican Assembly president, Eric Ryan, who represents the conservative faction of the GOP, says the current wave of anti-Trump protests are not constructive.
“When you look at the groups that are there, this anti-fascism group or Women’s March and all these people. These are folks who’ve had nothing to since the last election except complain. The problem with the way the elections turned out isn’t that Trump got elected. It’s that their platform, their policies aren’t being enacted. In fact, they’re seeing a reversal of their policies and that’s driving them absolutely bananas.”
Ryan says a majority of states are being led by Republicans. Chuck Burrows is a member of Church of the Crossroads Peace, Justice and Stewardship of Creation Mission Team. He opposes Trump-Pence.
“We need to listen to both sides, understand what are the facts and what is the truth and to be able to judge it. So we are protesting; we are demanding that our American Democracy and government be maintained now and for the future.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.